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Folk Traditions

The Two Kings | Fire and Water | Midsummer Day
Country Summer Traditions | Fairies | Midsummer Games
John Barleycorn | The Six Days of Midsummer

Midsummer Day - June 24

Called Litha by the Celts, and St. John the Baptist Day by Christians, June 24 is the peak of celebration: Midsummer Day. By the time of Elizabeth, the church had centuries before moved all the pagan summer Solstice celebrations to St. John's Day.

St. John is said to be the Christianized edition of The Oak King: his feast day is on Midsummer and his chief symbol is water with which he baptized the faithful from the river Jordan. John is the cousin of Jesus who is said to represent the Holly King.

St. John the Baptist also has a wonderfully lurid story involving his martyrdom: imprisoned by mad King Herod, John is executed and has his head served up on a platter as a reward for the dancing of Salome, a spoiled princess.

Next: Country Summer Traditions



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